June 20, 2021


art requires creative

What’s Coming in Local Arts & Culture in 2021Voice of OC

18 min read

That crazy year of 2020 kind of threw everything arts and culture-related into a tailspin, so 2021 looks to be a year of recovery and reinvention.

Sure, 2020 was spectacularly awful. Everyone seems to anticipate that 2021 will be better. But we’ll still have a lot of the same problems: the coronavirus pandemic, economic issues, not being able to gather in public for a while, not being able to see live shows or exhibits.

Most of the performing and visual arts organizations and presenters in Orange County — as well as many regions of the country — are on hold, on standstill or standby. They are waiting for the word from their respective state and local governments to proceed and reopen — and to get back to some sense of normalcy and daily creative activity.

Folks are optimistic that by summer or fall 2021, we’ll be able to attend concerts, performances and art exhibitions again.

We’ll just have to see. In the meantime, the pandemic has had a severely injurious — yet hopefully not deadly — impact on most local arts organizations and artists. A lot of planning has been going on to deal with 2020 and 2021.

Our trusty contributors to Voice of OC’s arts and culture section have offered their voices, and their expert opinions, on what’s going to be worth seeing, hearing, tasting and experiencing in 2021.

Cross our fingers that things will get better. They will get better, right? Right?!?

Happy New Year everybody.


Heading into the new year, the outlook for the return of live theater productions is as unclear as when the curtain fell on them in mid-March.  Most producing entities, including South Coast Repertory, have yet to announce even tentative plans and even those that have aren’t realistically hoping for live audiences before April.

But here’s a look at a few confirmed productions or projects from local theater entities that could serve as the opening salvos in a return to theatrical normalcy by the summer. – Joel Beers

The Covid Monologues

Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble
Sometime in spring

Less of a producing entity than a collective dedicated to using theater to empower the Latinx community, particularly Latinas, the Santa Ana-based BFLTE is currently taking submissions for an initiative it is undertaking with the Protest Plays Project. Through March 1, people can submit a one-page monologue which celebrates and memorializes someone who has died from COVID-19. The producing partners will then take selected pieces and perform them sometime in the spring, as well as offer the entire collection to theater companies as a living theater project.

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